Continued from page 1

“We’re not losing confidence in ourselves. That’s the biggest thing,” Holtby said. “We had a tendency before to get really down if things weren’t going well and frustrated, but now it’s the same if we’re down as if we’re in the lead. We’re trying to take the same mentality that we’re not going to give up on any game and that’s how we’re really finding ways to win right now.”

Four points in the final three games will ensure a trip to the playoffs and home-ice advantage. Given that the Caps have won 13 of their past 16 games and picked up at least a point in 14 of them, the smart money is on a Game 1 at Verizon Center in a little more than a week.

At that point, the desperation will have to be turned up because even a scintillating run doesn’t mean anything once the playoffs begin.